Claypot Rice

Claypot rice served in the tingkat!

I haven't cooked claypot rice in almost two years according to my hubby's recollection. It really doesn't seem that long to me though, but I really can't remember if I've cooked it anytime recently so I just have to go with his memory.

Ok, claypot rice is really quite difficult to grasp - it's always the texture of the rice that's the problem - and I don't always get it right either. Oh well, failure is part of the learning process, isn't it? Anyway, yesterday was one of those days that my claypot rice kinda failed me and I was pretty upset about it because I promised to bring my mum and aunt their portions before bringing them out to the Night Safari.

Nevertheless, after thinking through the cooking process and troubleshooting, I think if I had added less water to the rice it would be better. I'd find out the next time I cook it! Would it be another two years later? :D

Anyway, this is the recipe:

Claypot Rice (serves 2)

3 chicken thighs (deboned and skill removed)
salted fish (amt according to your preference) - dice
2-3 cloves shallots (slice finely)
6-8 mushrooms
1 tablespoon sugar
2 cups rice grains

Seasoning (for the chicken):
1 tablespoon hua diao jiu
(about) 1 tablespoon ginger juice
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
chicken marinade (or 1/2teaspoon salt AND 1/2 tablespoon light soy sauce)
sesame oil
Tiger's dark soy sauce
ground white pepper
xiao bai cai

Soak mushrooms in water (with 1T sugar) for at least an hour.
Remove and marinate together with chicken.
Marinate chicken with the seasoning for at least half a day.

Cook rice on medium heat in a claypot with lid open. (The ratio of rice grains to water I used was 1:1 but it was too wet, so cut down on the amount of water)
Meanwhile, deep-fry shallots (fry this first as oil won't be so hot as to burn it immediately). Remove and place on kitchen towel.
Using the same oil, deep fry the salted fish.
Keep the oil for drizzling over the rice later.
Once the water in the claypot boils, stir the rice. Cook on low heat for 5-8min with lid on.
Put in the chicken and mushrooms. Cook on medium heat for about 12 min (or until chicken's cooked) with lid on.
Meanwhile, parboil the veggies.
After the chicken is cooked, pour in oil, put in the salted fish. Cook on low heat for 2 min with lid on.
Drizzle the oil and add fried shallots, dark sauce and pepper to taste.

Tip for getting really crisp shallots:
Soak finely sliced shallots in salt water for awhile. Drain the shallots and leave on kitchen towel to dry fully before deep frying.

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